Philippe Vaugazeur via Reuters
Media – “You kicked me out of this establishment.” Xavier Niel is not going to forget his visit to the media room Provence in Marseille. This Wednesday, March 2, when he came to a meeting with employee representatives, the group’s CEO fired him in less than ten minutes.
Boss of mobile operator Free, individual shareholder of Le Monde Group, to whom HuffPost, is an 11% minority shareholder in Marseille daily through its holding company Avenir Développement. He made the trip at the request of some of the newspaper’s employees, while others did not want his presence. The tone rose until Jean-Christophe Serfaty, CEO Provence who asked him to leave the newspaper premises, as you can see in the video below.
The end of the exchange took place on the porch of the newspaper’s premises. “You kicked me out of this establishment,” Xavier Neal told the CEO.
“Provence”, desired by Niel and Saade
“He doesn’t have to be there,” Jean-Christophe Cerfaty objected. “I told him by mail that I did not agree with his arrival. He still wanted to come and make the pass in force. I let him in, I went to the meeting. He said “You want me to leave”, he was the one who suggested it. Then I said yes,” explained BFM Marseille CEO Provence.
These deep disagreements within the team are connected with the debate over the future buyer of the newspaper. Some unions support the proposal of CMA-CGM General Manager Rodolphe Saade, while others support Xavier Niel’s proposal. They are both trying to take control of the 89% stake formerly owned by the Bernard Tapie Group (GBT) and thus become the newspaper’s main shareholder. The CSE is scheduled to take place this Monday, March 7th, in the presence of CMA-CGM representatives, notes BFM Marseille.
But things don’t go as planned for Xavier Neil: as he recalled Peace, February 15, after the second call for tenders, announced by the judicial liquidators of the Bernard Tapie group, the Bobigny court recognized the offer of CMA-CGM as the best offer. Meanwhile, the Marseille court on February 24 calculated that, as part of the legal consultation procedure, only the best offer should be presented to employees. The Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal is due to consider this aspect on March 28.
“He’s coming now because he’s worried”
But Xavier Niel came to address the staff Provence. “I didn’t come to present my proposal, I came to get to know the employees Provence. They asked me to explain what I intend to do in the long term, ”he nevertheless assured when he arrived at the premises.
According to Mediapart, Jean-Christophe Cerfaty, who was warned of the visit, attacked him by email, arguing that it amounted to a “violation of the court’s decision”. A warning Javi Niel didn’t heed. For example, in a video posted on Facebook by the FO/CGT La Provence-Corse Matin, we can see a staff member say, “You come when your offer is out of the game.”
“He comes now because he is worried. During the announcement of tenders, we asked him to present us his project, he always ignored us, ”said Peace Jean-Paul Fraziol, Secretary of CSE Eurosud, L’s advertising subsidiaryin Provence.
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